Home should be a safe place but for many in our community it’s not.
When dysfunction in a family, household or dating relationship becomes violent, people in Bexar County often find themselves in County Court #13, a court dedicated to bringing justice to domestic violence cases.
I’m Crystal Chandler, Judge of County Court #13. I see this court as integral to the health and safety of our community because it affords the judge an opportunity to address the root causes of domestic abuse and works to stop the sometimes deadly cycle of domestic violence.
Raised by my grandmother in a small Texas town with a single blinking yellow light in humble conditions, I knew that to make it in life I had to focus on getting an education. At sixteen, I moved to San Antonio and upon graduating from Winston Churchill High School, I put myself through college at The University of the Incarnate Word where I graduated with honors. I was the first person in my family to obtain a college degree. I attended law school at St. Mary’s University and began my career in public service because I wanted to help create change for those who may have come from similar backgrounds.
I took the bench in 2015 with a deep commitment to public service and extensive criminal law experience, having spent 2 years as a judicial briefing attorney at Texas’ highest criminal court, and more than 15 years as a prosecutor with the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s office.
As a felony trial prosecutor, I spent several years specializing in the prosecution of domestic violence murders, death and serious child abuse cases, sex crimes against children and other violent crimes. As an appellate prosecutor, I handled these cases before the appellate courts, including the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. While a prosecutor, I also sought other ways to help people. I taught criminal justice classes at San Antonio College where I encouraged my students to believe in themselves and to strive for the extraordinary. I helped found a national human trafficking organization – Chapter 61 Ministries (now known as Truckers Against Trafficking) – a world recognized anti-human trafficking non-profit.
As a former felony trial and appellate prosecutor specializing in the field of criminal family violence and child abuse, and while serving as judge of County Court #13, I’ve met with thousands of victims, defendants, and their families. I have personally witnessed the impact family violence has had on them. It’s this hands-on experience during my 20 years of practicing criminal law that allows me to identify how to help ensure the safety of victims while taking a comprehensive approach with defendants by imposing just sentences and providing tools to help them change their pattern of behavior.
As judge, I have handled over 7,000 cases, presided over more than 60 jury trials, cleared the case backlog, ensured that police are aware of orders of protection as bond conditions on violent offenders, and enforced compliance of firearm surrenders in domestic violence cases.
I’ve also created two initiatives at no additional cost to the taxpayers that help young adults and people with mental illness get their lives back on track. I routinely speak on family violence and human trafficking. I am a member of several legal and community organizations, including the Bexar County Task Force on Family Violence. I have been married to my husband, Scott Zimmerer, for nearly 20 years and am the proud parent of two wonderful teenage sons, Luke and Thomas. We are also part of the Community Bible Church family. Bexar County is our home and I want to make a positive difference.
Domestic violence affects all members of our Bexar County community, and County Court #13 is about making home a safe place for every person in every family. With your vote, I can continue working to make a difference in our community. My promise to you is that I will never stop working to earn your support, even after November, because this isn’t about me, it’s about protecting families and future generations by stopping the cycle of violence.
I humbly ask for your vote to re-elect me, Crystal Chandler, because the choice for Judge of County Court #13, is clear … Crystal clear.